• Liverpool 4-3 Swansea

Liverpool triumph in seven-goal thriller against Swansea

ESPN staff
February 23, 2014
Jordan Henderson produced another fine display for Liverpool © Getty Images

Liverpool managed to avoid dropping points in the race for the Premier League title after they edged out Swansea 4-3 in a thrilling encounter at Anfield.

With Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all winning on Saturday, Liverpool kept to within four points of league-leaders Chelsea after emerging unscathed against a Swansea side who fought back twice.

Remy rescues Newcastle

Loic Remy struck in injury-time © Getty Images
  • Loic Remy ended Newcastle's barren run with a dramatic injury-time winner as Aston Villa finally succumbed at St James' Park.
  • The striker claimed his 12th goal of the season in injury time of a game the Magpies should have had wrapped up long before. It clinched a first victory since January 18 and ended a run of five successive home defeats.
  • Remy and strike-partner Papiss Cisse had earlier wasted glorious opportunities to put Alan Pardew's men ahead in a game which rarely hit the heights, but the former's late contribution proved enough to seal a 1-0 win.
  • Villa gave as good as they got for long periods, but looked to be fortunate not to concede an 81st-minute penalty when the ball appeared to strike defender Leandro Bacuna's arm inside the box.
  • Newcastle went into the game having lost each of their last five fixtures in all competitions at St James' and with the club moving to deny that Pardew's job was on the line if he did not remedy that situation today.

Only three minutes into the game and Daniel Sturridge had the home side in front; the striker latched on to Raheem Sterling's excellent through ball before rounding Michel Vorm to find the breakthrough.

Sturridge turned provider 17 minutes later as he rolled the ball to Jordan Henderson, who curled past a hapless Vorm to double Liverpool's lead.

However, Swansea responded with an almost-identical goal of their own; Nathan Dyer cut in to find Jonjo Shelvey and the former Red crashed the ball off the underside of the bar and over the line.

Swansea's superb comeback looked to have been completed when Wilfried Bony's header came off Martin Skrtel and levelled the scores, but Sturridge headed the home side back in front following a pinpoint cross from Luis Suarez.

Not having one of his better days in defence, Skrtel upended Bony in the box shortly into the second half and the striker stepped up to level the scores once again.

Henderson then grabbed his second goal of the game in the 74th minute after Vorm had parried Suarez's shot. The frenetic pace was set in just the third minute, when the hosts scored a wonderful opener on the break.

Raheem Sterling played creator when he robbed Angel Rangel inside his own half and executed an inch-perfect 30-yard pass for the advancing Sturridge.

Sterling's ball, bending into the striker's path off the outside of the boot, still required Sturridge to round Michel Vorm and he did so with aplomb before locating the open net.

Liverpool nearly caught Swansea off guard moments later when Sterling's curled effort was beaten away by Vorm at the near post.

The hosts doubled their lead against the run of play after 21 minutes.

Sturridge's flash of pace - breezing past Neil Taylor as he cut in from the right wing - created the space, but the finish was even better. Henderson, lurking on the edge of the area, controlled the ball with his left boot, eyed up the top corner and dispatched a precision finish with his right.

Swansea's response was immediate and emphatic.

Just two minutes after conceding they created their own version of Liverpool's second, Nathan Dyer playing the Sturridge role as he drifted iside.

And Shelvey was on hand to match Henderson's finish, stroking the ball into top corner from a similar position.

There was no celebration against his former club and Anfield responded with a warm ovation.

The goals kept coming, with the visitors making it four in the 27th minute and Martin Skrtel unfortunate on two counts.

The Slovakian was harshly adjudged to have fouled Shelvey for the initial free-kick and, when Jonathan De Guzman's delivery was headed on by Bony, the ball deflected past Simon Mignolet via Skrtel's shoulder.

Swansea had the momentum, but once more the Reds proved lethal in the final third as they reclaimed the lead after 36 minutes.

A patient build-up stretched Swansea and when Luis Suarez floated a cross for Sturridge, he rose between Ashley Williams and Wayne Routledge to nod home his 20th goal of the season.

There was no further scoring before the break, though did Luis Suarez see an an audacious strike from 45 yards drift a couple of yards wide with Vorm back-tracking.

Less than three minutes of the second half had passed when Swansea equalised for the second time, Skrtel again cursing his luck as he conceded a questionable penalty as he tangled with Bony.

He was at least spared a second yellow card but Bony made no mistake from the spot.

Attack continued to dominate defence with Suarez denied at the near post after a flowing move, and De Guzman twice going close at the other end.

Referee Mike Jones had decisions to make too, Mignolet close to handling outside the area and Suarez calling unsuccessfully for a penalty following a collision with Jose Canas.

A seventh goal seemed inevitable and Liverpool grabbed it with 16 minutes remaining.

Steven Gerrard produced a wonderful 40-yard pass to Suarez, who controlled on his chest and saw his shot blocked by Williams.

Henderson fired the loose ball at Vorm, who saved smartly but allowed it to squirm out of his grasp as the England midfielder followed up to finish the job from a yard. The two goals he bagged meant the England midfielder doubled his season's tally in a day.

Swansea threatened to equalise for a third time in the closing stages, but the Reds went even closer as Gerrard's deflected effort crashed off the post.

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